hello there. it's friday, decber th. russian leaders have provided diplomatic support for their allies in syria throughout that country's civil war, but a senior russian official says syrian president assad may be losing control. the deputy foreign minister said russians must accept the fact that government forces are losing territory. he said he could not rule out the possibility that opposition fighters bhimight win the sif w. they've beenalling for more talks, but u.s. president barack obama says they recognize the
opposition coalition as the only legitimate representative of the people. the head of nato thinks president assad has his back to the wall. he said the government's collapse is only a question of time. >> i think the regime in damascus is approaching collapse. >> he urged syrian leaders to stop the violence, understand the situation they're in and initiate a process that would lead to realizing theegitate aspirations of the syrian people. nato officials say they won't intervene militarily. they said it could destabilize the region. instead they will increase pressure by deploying interceptor missiles along the turkey border. aid workers is say more than a million people across syria don't have enough to eat. they're warning the problem will only get worse. pedro heads the organization's new york office. he said the number of people
needing help has tripled orr the st six months. >> they have serious problems in terms of having access to food. their food is not available in the market. even if it is available, it is extremely expensive. the prices have increased. >> he says more and more syrians will need food aid. he's calling for more help from international donors. people in leading japanese firms are counting the number of orders they are receiving and looking at books and feeling discouraging. we have the latest findings of the survey of business and sentiment. break down the numbers for you. >> analysts estimates were in the negative. even so the actual figure we're seeing is on the weaker side of those estimates. major manufacturers in japan say business sentiment is getting worse. that's according to the latest quarterly report by the country's central bank. the bank of japan released on
friday it's quarterly survey of short-term business confidence. nearly 11,000 companies up were covered byhe poll. e headline index stood at minus 12, down 9 points from the previous survey in september. it also records two consecutive quarters of worsening sentiment. the main factor for the decline is poor exports of auto and other economies due to the european downturn and cooling ties with china. another negative factor is the drop in domestic car sales because state subsidies for buyers of fuel efficient cars expired in september. for the nonmanufacturing sector the sentiment index was down by four points from the previous surv survey. looking aahead the to the next three months, major manufacturers expect a slight improvement as they hope the u.s. and chinese economies recovery. they're concerned that cooling consumer sentiment will persist. japanese shoppers are spends
less, and that's got retailers depress depressed. as tremendous to try get people to spend more some may fuel a price war. >> reporter: major supermarket chains have slashed t prices over the past three months on more than 350,000 products. >> translator: customers are become increasingly price conscious. we hope discounts on daily necessities will encourage them to visit more often and boost our sales. >> reporter: furniture manufacturers are opening a 10% to 40% discount on nearly 900 items. >> translator: consumer spending in the overall economy is declining. we felt the need for further discount. >> reporter: the industry is trying to boost sales with generous discounts is food service.
>> translator: here you go. one nagasaki jumbo. >> reporter: a restaurant chain famous for in that case sanoodl 30 outlets. he oversees the domestic restaurant. he's trying to regain customers. a year ago he made a decision. he raised the price of his company's signature noodles by just 40 yen or around 50 cents to 590 yen. the price hike was unavoidable. prices of locally grown vegetables have been rising. he feared it wouldn't have much impact on sales. but he was wrong. his higher prices did turn away customers. month aftemont his sales figures were under those of a year ago.
>> translator: if you want to know the truth, it was a failure. people were much more price sensitive than we thought. >> reporter: to try and salvage it, he added to the menu new low priced items. one was towards new dishes, noodles served with a dipping soup. he added another item for busy lunch hours. a six-course meal for 500 yen coin. >> translator: lunch around here costs between 600 and 1,000 yen, so the 500-yen meal is a good value. >> translator: it's much cheaper, and it tastes good. >> reporter: despite his new lower margins, he figured that attracting more customers would turn out the profits.
translator: we can't do business without customers. everything depends on whether they accept our products. we could try to sell dishes that generate more profit, but if they turn away customers, then that's the end for us. >> but experts warn companies won't survive just by undercutting their rivals. >> translator: companies are being drawn into a price war. price cuts are a universal response to poor consumer sentiment and declining sales. reducing prices to the extent that they lead to a deflationay economy happens only in japan. >> reporter: lower prices surely please customers, but if a discount war heats up, companies will pay the penalty. it may lead to lower wages, which could further dampen spending. they're creating aa vicious
cycle. companies serious about survival may have to learn how to raise prices while keepingcustomers. nhk world, tokyo. well, let's get a check on the markets now. the dollar is slightly higher against want yen. dollar/yen at 83 the.68 to 72. the euro/yen is at 109.42 to 47. the impact of the weak results on currencies appears to be limited. the dollar hit an eight and a half month high against the yen. they say participants are buying dollars on speculation the bank of japan will take further monetary easing at its policy meeting next week after a similar move by the u.s. central bank. tokyo share prices are rolower this friday morning. they're trading at 9,714, a loss of almost one-third of a percent from thursday's close. analysts say investors move to take profits at the open
following a recent rally, but many are sidelines ahead of the election on sunday and the boj policy meeting next week. in other markets in the asia-pacific the kospi is is trading lower. below that 2,000 line, 1,989 at the moment. in australia the benchmark index is trading flat, 4,585. we'll see where china related markets take us when they open over the next hour. finance ministers from the 17 you're yo zone nations have agreed to give an additional loan of nearly $45 billion to greece. they say the debt reduction plan is on its way. the loan will be granted as early as next week. at a meeting last month, the euro zone nation ministers agreed in principle on aid for greece after the government carried out austerity and other measures as preconditions for additional loans. at that time they suspended the final decision on loans. they said they needed to determine if greece's bond
buy-back program would be effective. at thursday's meeting they endorsed the buy back plan of the depreciated bonds. they will repurchase bonds from the private sector at a third of their face value. the ministers agreed on a separate loan of nearly $20 billion for greece by thend of next march. loans to greece were suspended for the past six months. >> today's decision on the greek package will remove the clouds that are hanging over greece. >> and the greek prime minister welcomed the decision calling it a big success for greece and a big success for europe. investors are still uncertain about the global economic taken to stabilize the euros zone. major central bank leaders are beefing up the coordinated
action to secure confidence in global financial markets. they're extending a program that makes it easier for commercial banking to borrow money. taking part are the u.s. federal reserve and the european central bank as well as the central banks of canada, britain and switzerland. the leaders agreed to extend the foreign currency liquidity swap by one year. the arrangement was set to expire next february. the bank of japan whether to join the plan at the policy meeting next week. it was introduced last november when commercial banks had trouble getting money from the markets due to the european credit concerns. the bank leaders say their decision shows they're taking all possible measures to ease global financial strains. more business headlines for you next hour. here's a check on markets.
north korea's state-run media say the country's media oversaw the highly publicized launch this week. others say it was actually a long-range ballistic missile test. they say kim jong-un ordered the launch of the satelte a 8:00 a.m. on wednesday. he's then seen clapping his hands in celebration at what seems to be the control center in pyongyang. following the launch kim said the north must put more satellites into orbit to develop its if he can nolg and stimulate the economy. the north's media was broadcasting footage of the launch and showing images of people celebrating. observers say north korea wants to give kim's leadership a boost
ahead of the first anniversary of the death of his father and former kim jong-il. the launch is the wish of the late lert is said. sailors p for the south korean navy have found what they believe is the first stage of the rocket. a defense ministry spokesperson says the sailors located the debris in the yellow sea about an hour and a half after the launch. ministry officials released photos and this video of the operation. the sailors found a 10-meter section of fuselage, the word korean for milky way was written on the side. that's the name of the rocket that the north koreans sent up. they say the debris was par of the first stage. theyay the sailors tried to tie a rope afterward around the section but it sank. they'll try to salvage it when the ocean is calmer. >> translator: we expected to be able to learn more about the north korean rocket by analyzing
the first stage debris. >> some south koreans have criticized the defense ministry for failing to anticipate the launch. japanese people have many issues to consider before voting in the general election on sunday. one involves opening up their markets. politicians are divided over whether japan should join the trans pacific partnership. the free-trade agreement would scrap tariffs and trade barriers. some believe it would revitalize the economy, and others fear it would kill jobs. we walk through the debate. >> translator: this man has farmed these fields for over 40 years. he grows rice and soybeans in northern japan. he's concerned his 30 hector farm is too small to compete with farmers in the united states.
>> translator: the tpp would be catastrophic for us. the government hasn't yet shown us what would happen if japan joined the pact. >> reporter: japanese farmers have been some of the most vocal opponents of the trans pacific partnership. they say eliminating tariffs would allow cheaper agricultural produce such as rice and wheat to flood their market. agriculture is just one of many areas the tpp would cover. others include intellectual property and medical services. u.s. government officials are leading the trade initiative. ten other countries including mexico and canada are taking part in the talks. prime minister noda has been steering japan towards joining negotiations, but he hasn't made a commitment yet. he's facing opposition from within his own party because of the ongoing pressure by the farmers.
business leaders want japan to dive in. they say joining the tpp will help auto and electronic makers maintain a competitive edge. >> translator: japan should join the negotiations as soon as possible. that's the most important thing. >> reporter: noda has said he wanted to make the tpp a key election issue. however, the democrats stopped just short of clarifying in their manifesto whether japan should join the trade negotiations. many party members are still reluctant. the main opposition liberal democratic party is just as cautious. analysts point out that farmers have been long-time ldp supporters, but the ldp leader, a abe, isn't turning his back on
the business community. he has said a government led by s payoulde able to negotiate with the u.s. and other tpp nations on exceptions for eliminating tariffs on certain products. so voters in japan are left with more questions than answers about when or whether their country will take part in the tpp negotiations. the debate over the merits or merits of joining this pact will likely continue long after the general election is over. nhk world, tokyo. nhk world's special coverage of japan's general election is a click or tap away. starting december 10th we'll add a host of features to the web and mobile sites. you'll find background and analysis and in depth reports on issues that define the campaign from the economy and energy policy to disaster recovery and more. get online and get nfd.
ww www.nhk.or.jp/nhkword. investigators in central japan have found hundreds of safety problems at the site of a fatal accident. concrete ceiling panels in a highway tunnel collapsed earlier in mononth killing nine people. millions of passengers take the 2 expressway on their way into tokyo. the ceiling panels of a tunnel along the highway fell onto vehicles traveling through it. they were suspended by metal rods and fastened into the bedrock above. they believe aging bolt wore away causing a chain reaction. the people that operate the highway carried out an emergency inspection on the opposite lane. had loosedr corroded.600 bolts they managed to pull out two without any tools. they discovered 19 pieces of hardware and bolts were loosen order damaged and they found cracks along the bolts in 19 plateses along the ceiling. workers are removing the faulty panels.
inspectors made visual checks in september but did not conduct what are called hammer tests. those tests where differences in sound identify more serious problems. inspectors have found failing bolts and ceiling fittings in 14 other tunnels across the country. five japanese compaes are joining forces with the goal of winning a project in brazil. it will be for building an offshore oil rig. ihi corporation, mitsubishi and three other firms in the machinery and ship building industry aim to construct the facility over the coast of rio de janeiro. the insulation to be called the logistic hub is part of an estimated $120 billion project to develop an oil field at aa depth of 2,000 meters under the sea bed. it will be built more than 300 kilometers away from the coast. it will have a huge storage space for equipment as well as
sleeping quarters for workers. south korean and chinese companies are currently leaders in building offshore rigs. japan's government is set to support japanese businesses in gaining a share of the growing market. the new leaders of china's communist party are attempting to crack down on corruption. they dismissed a high-ranking party official on suspicion of seris violations of discipline. the state-run news agency reported he had been dismissed at deputy party chief. he was elected last month as an alternate member of the central committee. he reported last week that party officials were investigating him, though the news agency didn't say why. media in hong kong report lee profited illegally from his relationships with local companies. party leaders vowed to crack down on corruption after he took over the post last month. investigating a number of cases.
afghanistan and pakistan have agreed to jointly investigate last week's assassination attempt on an afghan spy chief. tension between the two neighbors has risen amid accusations the raid was planned over the border inside pakistan. the chief of afghanistan's national directorate of security was wounded. he was a target of a suicide bomber posing as aaliban peace envoy. rzai indirectly said the assassination plot was drawn up inside pakistan and the attack came from that country. karzai met his pakistani counterpart in the turkish capital on wednesday. they aagrgreed to establish a jt working group to investigate the incident. >> we should be taking practical steps in bringing more confidence and trust with the
reserves to the countri on of afghanistan and pakistan. >> i consider all incidents which are meaningful and put them in the fact that we are hurting them. therefore, they're striking us hard back. >> military groups based in pakistan's northwestern tribal areas frequently cross into afghanistan to carry out attacks. the afghan government has accused pakistan's intelligence agency of providing support to insurgents. afghanistan needs pakistan's influence to negotiate peace with the taliban. an afghan envoy visited pakistan last month to press the issue. pakistan also released nine taliban prisoners believed to have a positive stance towards peace negotiations. wednesday's meeting appears to be an attempt to keep efforts to reconcile with the taliban on track. it looks like the snow in northern japan is tapering off. they've had record-breaking
snowfall over the past week. let's go to more from the weather desk. >> well, in northwestern japan this is the only area where we are still seeing a little bit of precipitation. it's on and off showers until noontime. finally things start to be under the high pressure cresting over its head. clear skies, and however, this is until the next system moves into the area over the weekend. so do enjoy the weather while you can, and you might want to get your laundries done during the daytime today. this system will be moving towards western japan into tonight and covering much of the country for saturday. so it's going to be a wet weekend ahead of us. now,estern korea has been impacted with this system. north korea, you're saying mixed precipitation, but that will only last until the noon hour. these afternoon hours will be rain precipitation. rain will be ongoing here in the yanze river, that including
shanghai here in southern china. this is due to the moisture surging from the south china sea just building off that rainfall. that's going fob about up to 50 millimeters of rainfall in the next 24 hours. temperature-wise shanghai at 17 degrees. really warm out there, but a different story in other regions. some of the regions in inner mongolia have seen minus 30 this morning temperature-wise. in tokyo we're looking at 12 degrees. over towards the americas still things are very messy across much of the southwest. this is due to this winter storm system, and it is going to be a very heavy snowmaker. that will be moving into the four corners. welcoming rain will perhaps be in the phoenix region, but the mountainside will perhaps see about 30 centimeters of snowfall in nevada and new mexico. colorado, you may see more than that, and southern california you'll still see those rain but higher elevations will possibly
pack up 5 centimeters of snowfall. across much of the southeast, things are looking very clear and the temperatures are rising here in chicago. that's well above your average. in fact, people in chicago actually broke the record for the longest stretch with no measurable snowfall. you haven't seen snow since rch 4 lt year, so 283 days of no snow. we're wondering when that snow will start there, but freezing rain has impacted paris. it was a slippery day for us out there. still a slippery thing. look at this video. freezing rain creates icy roads yesterday, but skaters are enjoying the new ice palace at the grand palace. it's the largest rink in france covering 1800 square meters. skaters can take to the ice every day until january 6th. so winter season kicking in.
let's pull back and show you that france will still be seeing some wet and windy conditions. this is actually southwesterly winds that are dominating this area strengthening and making it a very wet scene, locally isolated rain will target portugal. temperature-wise not too bad. paris, 12 degrees for friday and saturday. on the rise he here in madrid at 14 degrees on your saturday, too. but the east is looking very chilly. kiev minus 5, moscow minus 9. that's for your high on friday. here's your extended forecast.